Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and advocates for public interest organizations will participate tomorrow in an open discussion about a controversial plan by the nonprofit Internet Society to sell the .ORG domain registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital.
EFF and hundreds of .ORGs oppose the $1.1 billion transaction, which threatens the privacy and free speech rights of thousands of groups. ORGs operate around the world and across the political spectrum. They range from churches and social groups to nonprofits that help disaster victims, promote public health, serve the poor, and work on issues like race, immigration, women’s rights, the arts, and the environment. The sale, which will convert the registry into a for-profit entity, can raise costs for nonprofits and lead to censorship or even domain suspension under agreements with corporations or governments to monitor .ORG sites.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz will discuss EFF’s concerns about the deal, and what it means for the future of large and small organizations whose websites depend on the .ORG registry to communicate online with clients, donors, and the public at large.
“The decision to sell the .ORG registry to a for-profit private equity firm run by domain name insiders came about after price caps on the registry were removed and changes in the .ORG Registry Agreement set new enforcement processes that can be used to censor organizations’ speech,” said Stoltz. “The NGO community has important questions about how speech rights will be protected and what mechanisms will exist to address these concerns. We look forward to having a dialogue with Internet Society and other groups about the future of Internet speech in light of this planned sale.”
Tomorrow’s panel includes Andrew Sullivan, Internet Society CEO; Benjamin Leff, American University Washington College of Law professor whose scholarship focuses on nonprofit regulations, and Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center CEO and former chair of the Public Interest Registry (PIR). Kathryn Kleiman, former director of policy for PIR who is now practitioner-in-residence at American University Washington College of Law’s Intellectual Property & Tech Law Clinic, will facilitate the panel discussion.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz
Fireside Chat—The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should Be Having
American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Ceremonial Classroom, Warren Building Terrace Level
Washington DC 20016
Tuesday, Feb. 11
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Registration (in person):
For information about SAVE.ORG:
For a coalition letter to ICANN about the sale of .ORG: